Its a big exciting year for Purim! It feels like a landmark, because Purim 2020 was the last in person event that we held before the COVID-19 pandemic. I am so glad that we are able to host a full slate of hybrid Purim events this year. I hope that you will be able to join us in person or online!
Hybrid Purim Service
Our hybrid service will take place Wednesday, March 16th, 6:00-8:00 pm at the JCC of Ann Arbor. You may participate in person, or via zoom. Our theme this year will be Game Night! Dress up as your favorite board game character, video game character, game show personality, athlete etc. We will have a Megillah reading, followed by a congregation wide game night! We are asking everyone to register for both online and in person events. Sign up for in person services here. Sign up for online services here.
Megillah Readers Needed! Email us if you’d like to read an chapter in English for Purim! We read an abbreviated version so teens and adults are welcome!! Email Rabbi Ora if you are interested.
Hamantaschen Workshop with Laurie and Etta, March 13th, 2:00 pm.
Join Laurie White and Etta Heisler on Zoom to hone your hamantaschen-making skills. Check your mailers for the zoom link!
Laurie’s Hamantaschen Recipe
Rich Pastry Hamantaschen recipe
RICH PASTRY HAMANTASCHEN
2 C. all-purpose flour1/2 C. sugar2 t. baking powder1 C. butter (or margarine)2 eggsGrated rind of 1 orange1/2 C. finely ground walnuts2 T. brandy
1) Sift the flour, sugar and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Using a pastry blender or fork, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.2) Add the eggs3) Add the remaining ingredients and work with your hands until the mixture forms a ball, Add more flour if the dough seems to sticky to handle. Wrap and refrigerate over night.4) Roll out to 1/8-inch thickness on a well-floured board or pastry cloth. Cut 3’ or 4’ diameter circles, using a cookie cutter or drinking glass.5) Using filling of your choice*, mix filling well. Drop a teaspoon into the center of each circle, and fold dough to form triangular pockets (You can put a bit of water around the edge to help with sealing. Pinch edges together firmly).
Bake in pre-heated 350 F. oven for 20-30 minutes, until pastries are golden brown.
Makes 2 1/2 – 3 dozen.
* I like prune jam (2. c.) with the grated rind of a lemon, 1 t. orange juice, 1/2 c. finely chopped walnuts, 1 t. cinnamon (1/4 t. nutmeg): apricot jam (and add cinnamon and nuts) or poppyseed filling (I usually add yellow raisins, cinnamon and lemon to the commercially prepared version)
Mohn (rhymes with fun) is both the German and Yiddish word for poppy seeds. Tasch (rhymes with gosh) is the word for purse or pocket.Mohntaschen were a pocket-like pastry filled with poppy seeds and popular with German Jews and non-Jews in the late Middle Ages. A dish eaten by Jews has always been more satisfying if there exists some connection between it and the history of the Jewish people, so it became “Hamantaschen” and designated as a treat at Purim.As an extra justification for adopting mohntaschen for the traditional Purim pastry, it has been suggested that poppy seeds were a symbol of manna, the food G-d gave to the Jews wandering in Egypt, and also one of the few foods Esther would have eaten in the Court of Ahasuerus since she would have been observing the Jewish dietary laws.
Etta’s Hamantaschen Recipe see the original and more on Etta’s website!
This recipe was originally published by my maternal grandmother, or Savta as I called her, in a recipe booklet called “Dinner and Other Winners” that I think must have been a fundraiser for Hadassah or some such organization. It is an objectively perfect and unequivically delicious. Other hamentaschen are great, but you don’t need em if you have these. Sweet enough for dessert, fruity enough to call it breakfast, they go from dusk to dawn and back again, just like the holiday.
If you don’t know what hamentashen are, google it and educate yourself. Or not, and just eat the cookies.
Here’s What You Need
For the filling:
- 2.5 pounds Lekvar Prune Jelly (I have never found this so I just use dried prunes at the same weight with a bit of water as needed)
- 1/2 pound ground walnuts (you can leave these out if you have to do nut free)
- 1/2 pound seedless white raisins
- 1/2 pound strawberry preserves (jam is fine)
- 1/2 pound jar apricot preserves (or jam)
- grated rind of one lemon
- breadcrumbs to make the mixture firm (I never add these)
For the dough:
- 4 cups flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup oil (I use safflower)
- 1/2 cup water
Here’s What To Do
- Combine all the dry dough ingredients in a large bowl.
- Make a well in the center and add the eggs, oil, and water.
- Bring the dry ingredients over the wet ingredients, working the mixture until you have a soft dough.
- Gradually add additional flour as needed to make the dough stiff (but not so dry as to crack).
- Knead on a floured board (or counter) until smooth and pliable.
- Refridgerate for two hours or over night.
- To make the filling, just combine all of the ingredients in a food processor and puree until they are all mixed together and finely ground. Add water if you think it should be looser. Add breadcrumbs if you want it thicker. Store in fridge if not using immediately.
- Once chilled, roll out dough on a floured board (or counter) to 1/4″ thickness.
- Cut circles. (You will need to do at least 3-4″ diameter, 4 is probably better than 3. I use a biscuit cutter, but you could also use a large tomato can that has been emptied and cleaned, or some similar object.)
- Place a spoonful of filling in the center of each circle.
- Using your finger or a small pastry brush, brush a thin coating of water around the outer edge of the circle, as if you were adding a rim to a plate.
- Pick any two, equidistant points and fold to the middle, pinching tightly to close, but not so tight as to break the dough. Continue pinching down the seam til you make a corner.
- Now, fold up the other side and pinch in two directions to make two more corners.
- This should make total sense to you by now and if you are confused, you have failed. PSYCH. Watch the tutorial, or make up your own shape.
- The important thing is to make sure you have a good seal on all the seams, and that you can see some of the filling peeking through without it totally exploding out of the cookie.
- Place folded cookies on a cookie sheet, 1″ apart. Bake 15-17 minutes at 350 degrees or until the bottoms are light brown.